SCA Round 1 2020 wrap

February 24 2020

The 2020 Stock Cars Australia season got underway last week as nine competitors brought the action to Wakefield Park.

Five OzTrucks (see above picture), two Invitationals, one Stock Car and one GTA made up the field of nine competitors, an increase of four from last year’s season opener.

Qualifying was held on Saturday morning and Stephen Chilby won Pole Position after edging out defending champion Brett Mitchell by just 0.0784 seconds with James Burge just .25 seconds off the pace.

Qualifying results

Stephen Chilby
Brett Mitchell
James Burge
Corey Gurney
Robert Marchese
Danny Burgess
Zac O’Hara
Mick Heppleston
Stephen Langley

Race one

Stephen Chilby started the 2020 season the way he ended the 2019 season, with a win.

Brett Mitchell came in second place with Corey Gurney in third and ending his run of fourth place finishes.

Mick Heppleston, Stephen Langley and James Burge all retired from the race but the good news for them was that they were good to go for Race Two.

Finishing order 

Stephen Chilby
Brett Mitchell
Corey Gurney
Danny Burgess
Robert Marchese
Zac O’Hara
Mick Heppleston
Stephen Langley
James Burge

Race Two

It was second verse, same as the first for Stephen Chilby and Brett Mitchell but James Burge charged from the back to catch up to and pass Corey Gurney late in the race to take third place.

Danny Burgess retired from the race but he was not out for the count as he was back in action for Race Three and Four.

Race Two Finishing Order
Stephen Chilby
Brett Mitchell
James Burge
Corey Gurney
Robert Marchese
Zac O’Hara
Mick Heppleston
Stephen Langley
Danny Burgess

Race Three

Stephen Chilby made it three from three with Brett Mitchell once again in second place with Corey Gurney recording his second third place finish for the weekend.

Robert Marchese held off Danny Burgess by 0.2316 seconds to take fourth position.

Mick Heppleston was an early retirement but he was good to go for Race Four.

Race Three Finishing Order
Stephen Chilby
Brett Mitchell
Corey Gurney
Robert Marchese
Danny Burgess
James Burge
Zac O’Hara
Stephen Langley
Mick Heppleston

Race Four

Stephen Chilby achieved the clean sweep though James Burge did everything in his power to crash the party by getting within .2 of a second from the lead with a lap remaining.

James Burge had the fastest lap of the weekend by recording a 1:02.3657 as he was trying to catch Stephen Chilby, he actually did catch Stephen and stuck his #711 OzTruck up the inside deep under braking but he couldn’t make it stick and went off the track.

Brett Mitchell added a third place finish to secure second spot for the weekend with Corey Gurney in fourth.

Thanks to James Burge, you can see the entire race from his OzTruck below.


Race Four Finishing Order
Stephen Chilby
James Burge
Brett Mitchell
Corey Gurney
Danny Burgess
Robert Marchese
Zac O’Hara
Mick Heppleston
Stephen Langley

Driver Results

Stephen Chilby – 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st
Brett Mitchell – 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Corey Gurney – 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th
James Burge – DNF, 3rd, 6th, 2nd
Robert Marchese – 5th, 5th, 4th, 6th
Danny Burgess  – 4th, DNF, 5th, 5th
Zac O’Hara – 6th, 6th, 7th, 7th
Mick Heppleston – DNF, 7th, DNF, 8th
Stephen Langley – DNF, 8th, 8th, 9th

Conclusion

This season will definitely be an interesting one despite Stephen Chilby having the clean sweep of the weekend.

James Burge has plenty of speed in his OzTruck and he has a strong chance to add to his tally of wins in SCA this year.

If Corey Gurney can gain a second a lap out of his GTA then he is a possibility for finishing in the top two as his best was close to Brett Mitchell’s times and GTA’s have been known for giving OzTruck’s trouble.

There is competition throughout the field and this will bring interest to those spectating the race and perhaps entice newcomers to have a go at a race.

Next round will be interesting as Mick Heppleston is expected to move from his invitational car to the #41 Ford Thunderbird and the #1 VT Commodore that is usually driven by David O’Hara is expected to make its return to the series boosting the stock car field to at least three.

Don’t forget drivers and fans to keep talking about SCA at least once a week, chatter is always important to get anything off the ground and in this day and age visibility is a must especially in the 24 hour news cycle.

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